Sunday mornings are often a time of hurried breakfast-ing and dressing and rushing to church. Over the past couple of months, we have set our alarm a bit earlier so that we can enjoy the morning, lingering a little longer over a cappuccino (complements of my husband) or a cup of tea. Sometimes we succeed, and sometimes we linger just a little too long and end up in the same hurried mess.
Easter is one of the most beautiful celebrations of the church, and we wouldn't want to enter that frazzled and distracted. But on Easter morning, we are trying on new clothes, opening up Easter baskets and gifts, and trying to enjoy that same breakfast before heading to the church. It has high potential for failure.
This breakfast casserole is here to help with those hurried Sunday mornings. It can be prepared the night before and baked while you enjoy your coffee, try on your new clothes, check your e-mail, and linger for a few minutes before church or wherever you might be heading. While you can use a cup of oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, the home-made oven-dried tomatoes really do make this casserole outstanding.
Sun Dried Tomato, Basil, and Goat Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from Whipped
1 quart grape (or cherry) tomatoes, halved
Olive Oil (to taste)
Pinch of sugar, salt and pepper
8 cups day-old French bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup basil, julienned
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon pepper
9 eggs3 cups milk
The day before:
Preheat the oven to 225. Arrange the halved tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with the sugar, salt and pepper. Bake the tomatoes for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Chop the dried tomatoes.
Butter a 9 x 13 inch casserole. Scatter the bread evenly in the dish. Sprinkle evenly with chopped tomatoes, goat cheese, basil, salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs. Pour evenly over the bread mixture. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning:
Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and uncover. Preheat the oven to 350. Bake the casserole for about 40 minutes, or until the middle is cooked (test with a knife) and the casserole is browned and puffed all over. Cut into squares.